University of Oulu

Muhos, M., Saarela, M., Foit, D. et al. Int Entrep Manag J (2018).

Management priorities of digital health service start-ups in California

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Author: Muhos, Matti1; Saarela, Martti1; Foit Jr, Delbert2;
Organizations: 1Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Micro-Entrepreneurship Research Group, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500 Nivala, Finland
2Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-01-29


Digitalisation has revolutionised health service delivery, which has provided global business opportunities for start-ups that specialise in digital innovations. Such start-ups challenge the traditional healthcare service industry by introducing radical and sustainable innovations in the agile product development cycle and the creative acquisition of resources within their networks. Starting up is the most critical period in establishing a new digital health service company. However, little is known about the critical early growth processes of newly established digital healthcare service businesses. The aim of this study is to clarify the experience-based priorities of managers of digital health service businesses in California during the critical start-up stage. Based on this multiple case study, the qualitative and contextual characteristics of growth in California-based digital health service start-ups were clarified, and a framework of management priorities was formed. Network management is a high priority in digital service start-ups that are focused on bringing radical innovations to the complex and hard-to-access market where fundraising is an integral part of success.

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Series: International entrepreneurship and management journal
ISSN: 1554-7191
ISSN-E: 1555-1938
ISSN-L: 1554-7191
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1007/s11365-018-0546-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
520 Other social sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.